The island of Sardinia is the biggest producer of natural cork in Italy. In this study, cork oak cover change is
investigated in a typical agro-silvopastoral system where the main activities are cereal fodder and wheat cultivation, sheep
rearing and cork exploitation.
The research method is based on the comparison of two land use maps produced by photo-interpretation of digitised aerial
photographs taken in 1954 and 1998, combined with interviews with local farmers, field surveys, and data collected from
literature, administrative documentation and decadal censuses (at council level).
The results show that the cork oak woodland surface decreased (-29%). It was substituted by other forest, ploughed land,
and mixed grassland and shrubland. Apart from the transformation of the cork oak woodland to other forest, other changes
have happened probably because of an increase in agricultural and pastoral activities as described by the documental
material available for the same area.